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The Importance of Family Relationships

Life is easier with a supportive family. Individuals, regardless of their age, require nurturing, soul-calming relationships with their relatives to bolster their confidence and give them the courage necessary to tackle life’s challenges. Eva Carlston Academy reviews that well-documented studies show mental health and well-being are directly related to their familial bonds.

While strong family relationships are necessary at all stages of life, they are particularly important for teenagers, who often go through challenging and uncertain times.

Why Family Connections Are Important

Stability, mental growth, and overall well-being are dependent on family bonds. Without healthy connections, children can struggle to form relationships outside of their homes, leaving them scrambling for friends or partners later in life.

Strong families teach forgiveness and ensure all members know how to build and retain trust in others as they share both good and bad times.

On top of that, they provide children with valuable, healthy conflict-resolving techniques that will serve them well in many situations.

As for the adults in robust families, they benefit from feeling safe, connected, comfortable, and respected by the people they care about.

Strong Family Relationships and the Impact on Teenagers

Teenagers’ relationships with their families change as they hit adolescence. However, they require as much parental and familial support as they did when they were young children.

Adolescence can be challenging. Not only does it bring physical changes, but also emotional ones, causing teens to feel unsure about where they fit in and who they are or want to be.

Furthermore, they may be weighed down by influences from their peers, pressure from school, and many other unique difficulties.
So, the presence of a secure, tight-knit family is crucial at this stage in their lives.

Strong family bonds provide a safe emotional base where teens feel appreciated and loved, regardless of the challenges they may be facing in the outside world. They can improve confidence and optimism while helping them establish their identity and build resilience.

Teenagers in families with clear boundaries, rules, and standards offer consistency and predictability, resulting in feelings of belonging and safety that they won’t get elsewhere.

In short, robust family bonds give teens the tools they need to tackle whatever adolescence throws at them — which can be a massive undertaking.

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Steps to Building Strong Family Relationships

While the steps below may sound simple, it’s easy to forget about these important aspects of family life, especially with external stressors. But experts encourage families to follow these seven tips for strengthening their bonds and giving every member safety, comfort, appreciation, and love:

  1. Quality Time — Mealtimes provide perfect opportunities for families to sit together, catch up, and have a laugh.
  2. Appreciation — Praise and gratitude go a long way.
  3. Celebration — Cherish the uniqueness of everyone in the family unit, celebrating their abilities and strengths.
  4. Communication — Always respect members’ needs. If they want to talk about something, they deserve the space to allow them to express themselves completely.
  5. Teamwork — Sharing household chores ensures every member feels acknowledged for their contributions.

Strong family relationships build resilient teens capable of overcoming setbacks and other life challenges which can support them throughout life. Having a strong family support system is vital for healthy social connections, tenacity, and confidence in themselves.

Being Resilient as a Teen and Healing from Trauma

Adolescence is a time of rapid physical, psychological, and social changes that can be both exciting and challenging. As teens transition from childhood to adulthood, they face a number of difficult issues and emotions that can be intensified for those who have experienced traumatic life events. Eva Carlston Academy reviews that with teens who have experienced trauma, resilience is a key factor in their ability to heal and cope with their experiences.

Resilience is the capacity to cope with adversity and tap into one’s inner strength to keep going, even in the face of challenges and hardships. By understanding the importance of being emotionally strong as a teen, young people can take positive steps to build on their mental toughness and cope with their trauma.

The Impact of Trauma

Trauma can have a severe and lasting impact on the physical, mental, and emotional health of young people. Traumatic events can include physical or sexual abuse, serious accidents or injuries, natural disasters, sudden loss of a parent, or other life-altering events. The effects of these traumatic events can linger long after the event has passed, impacting the teen’s day-to-day functioning and sense of security.

While not all teens will experience the same level of distress, those who have experienced trauma may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty developing and maintaining relationships with their peers.

The Importance of Resiliency

When faced with such intense emotional stress, resilience becomes a critical component in helping teens heal and cope. This ability acts as a way to manage adversity and to tap into one’s inner strength.

Resilient teens are often better able to handle emotional distress that can accompany traumatic events and are more likely to process their experiences in a healthy manner. This way, they can overcome the emotional and psychological challenges of trauma while developing through the rigors of teen life.

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Building Strength

There are several ways that teens can build inner strength and foster the skills needed to handle stress. Developing healthy coping skills, such as breathing exercises and mindfulness, can help teens identify and manage their emotions effectively.

Additionally, young people may benefit from developing a supportive social network, with friends and family members who can provide support and help them work through difficult times. Finally, teens can benefit from talking to a mental health professional, who can provide guidance and support as they heal.

Seeking Support

Reaching out for help is an important step in the healing process for anyone. Seeking support from family, friends, or professionals can help teens build resiliency and cope with their distress. Additionally, engaging in supportive activities and self-care can help teens build inner strength and deal with their traumatic experiences.

Final Thoughts

Adolescence can be a difficult time for teens, and even more so for those who have experienced trauma. By understanding the importance of being emotionally tough as a teen, young people can take positive steps to build resiliency and cope with life’s issues. While it may take time and patience, it is the first step to long-term healing.

The Importance of Social Skills in Teens

The teenage years are a time for learning and discovery. It’s when children begin to come into their own, but more importantly, to learn how to flourish as a confident human.

Teenagers begin to truly value and understand an array of skills that likely have been shared with them at a young age. They start developing tangible financial and academic skills and navigate complex relationships with peers, teachers, siblings, and parents.

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The teenage years are the most formative when it comes to social skills that will remain essential throughout one’s life — both in personal and professional matters. Teaching social skills can be challenging, but it can also be difficult for the person attempting to learn and understand them.

Eva Carlston Academy reports that social skills are among the most important lessons a teenager will ever receive. Here’s why:

It Imparts Communication Skills that Will Always Be Vital

For teenagers, social skills don’t just mean how to get along with people their own age. The lessons learned about language and interactions fuel the way they communicate with professors in college, co-workers, partners, and eventually their own children.

By teaching effective approaches to social interactions, teenagers are set on a path to interact properly with adults and then eventually become more socially responsible adults.

It Helps with Conflict Resolution

Proper social skills in teenagers lead to effective ways to navigate conflict resolution and make better decisions.

For young teenagers, that often comes in the form of peer pressure, whether that means how they treat others their own age or how they avoid situations such as bullying or alcohol/drug temptations.

With the right social skillset developed early, conflict resolution techniques are honed as well. And conflict resolution skills are always valuable.

It Helps Teenagers Gain Confidence and Self-Esteem

At its heart, low self-esteem primarily stems from the view that one isn’t good enough, that they are unlovable or inadequate. Instilling effective social skills early can reverse the epidemic of low self-esteem in teenagers which can lead to dangerous behavior.

Positive social skills including ways to take in and offer constructive criticism, communicate honestly, and be able to advocate for oneself and for others can have a lasting impact on how one feels about themselves for their entire life.

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It Helps Develop Purpose-Driven Lives

Teens who develop social skills early are more likely to apply them to the good of the community.

That’s the awesome power of positive social skills. They not only make teens more effective people able to navigate the ups and downs of life but make them more successful citizens.

This comes in small forms, such as discerning the body language and social cues of others in order to form a proper response or larger forms such as helping teens understand the importance of volunteerism and giving back to the community.

Teens with social skills become adults who know how to compliment others, ask others for their opinion, and be empathetic. It helps them respect and honor others’ needs and make people feel welcome in situations that may be stressful and tense.

Good social skills lead to better cooperation, understanding, and affection while still being assertive and able to stick up for oneself.

Teens with good social skills become lifelong good listeners and helpers — and we always will need more of that in the world.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

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In its original inception, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was intended to ensure that insurance companies cover addiction disorders and mental healthcare with an equal amount of coverage as physical disorders. Despite its status as a codified legal requirement, many insurance companies and doctors have been found to skirt around the law’s provisions.

In some cases, this has led to patients with mental health disorders being denied coverage outright, while in other cases they have been required to pay higher out-of-pocket costs. Understandably, patients feel that their needs are not being met and that they are being intentionally left out of the medical institution. To understand the issues, Eva Carlston Academy examines the MHPAEA and discusses its shortcomings.

The Original Motivation Behind the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

The MPHAEA was passed in 2008 with the intention of ensuring that insurance companies would cover psychological and addiction disorders with the same level of coverage as physical disorders. The law states that insurance companies may not set different limits on mental health benefits than they do for physical health benefits.

This was in response to the long-standing issue of insurers discriminating against psychological and addiction disorders. Mental healthcare has historically been treated as less legitimate than physical healthcare, and as a result, insurers have managed to get away with providing less mental health coverage. MHPAEA, therefore, intended to level the playing field and ensure that psychological and addiction disorders were given the same level of care.

The Shortcomings of the MHPAEA

Despite its good intentions, the MHPAEA has fallen short in its implementation. Insurance companies successfully circumvented the law by outright denying payments or otherwise working with out-of-network service providers to disenfranchise customers with psychological and addiction issues. The result of these practices is that patients with mental health disorders are being denied the coverage they need and are being left to fend for themselves.

The MHPAEA has also been found to be lacking in its enforcement mechanisms. The law gives the Department of Labor the authority to enforce the law, but the department has been slow to act. As a result, patients have been left without any recourse when they are denied coverage.

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The Future of the Act

At the beginning of 2022, the United States Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the U.S. Treasury released a joint report discussing the failures of the MHPAEA. In it, the Departments highlighted the lengths to which insurers went to deny customers fair coverage. However, it does go on to outline recent efforts to improve the enforceability of the act.

Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the Departments will now have greater power to go after and fine insurance companies who violate the law. It remains unseen how well these new powers will affect the problem but there is hope on the horizon.

The Bottom Line

Although the MPHAEA was intended to improve access to mental health and addiction services, insurers have been able to work around the law, leaving thousands of Americans without fair healthcare. The United States government is now aware of the problem and is working to better enforce its provisions but, for now, it remains unclear whether anything will change.

Benefits of Group Therapy for Teens

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A group therapy program approaches counseling in a way that is proven to have an impact on teens’ mental health. A study by the Journal of Clinical Child Psychology shows that group therapy is more effective than one-on-one consultations for teenagers and children. Here, Eva Carlston Academy reviews some of the benefits of group therapy for teens.

When teens undergo group therapy, especially ones that experience social isolation, bullying, identity conflicts, and anger management, they’re more likely to emerge with sharpened interpersonal skills. Having a positive peer influence will also help teens feel related to and understood.

There are many benefits to group therapy for teens, including improved confidence and reduced stress. Eva Carlston Academy explains more about the potential group therapy sessions can have on a teenager.

Social Confidence

When young people have the platform to speak and relate to their peers, they’ll gradually develop improved social prowess.

Building confidence by receiving affirmation, validation, and solidarity from people they see as their peers in a group therapy session can help shy teens feel more confident and willing to assert themselves socially.

Communication Skills

Group therapy sessions for teenagers give them the chance to let go of some of the emotions they may be ignoring or bottling up. Unresolved emotional stress causes moodiness, irritability, or defiance; group therapy lets kids navigate their feelings and find ways to express them with people their own age.

Communication skills will also contribute to a student’s personal growth. When teens are able to manage their emotions in a conducive, effective way, they will begin to display traits associated with emotional and social maturity.

Improved Relationships

Group therapy gives teens a chance to nurture their interpersonal relationships, allowing them to better mitigate the ones they encounter outside of a session. If a teenager has a poor quality of social relationships in school, group therapy will allow them to feel as if they’re starting fresh.

Teens can also make friends in group therapy; connecting on a personal level with someone will lead to a deeper friendship.

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Positive Peer Influence

According to statistics, 38% of teens have been pressured into doing something they were fully aware was detrimental to their health. When engaged in group therapy, young people will be surrounded by people who are also working to improve themselves, developing healthier ways to relate and cope.

Having their successes and victories celebrated in a group therapy session allows teenagers to overcome their self-doubts and make better choices — leading to more victories. It creates a positive feedback loop that can be beneficial to the long-term goals of group therapy.

Conclusion

Entering a teenager into group therapy can show benefits beyond the stated goal of working through their surface-level worries. Teens who participate actively in group therapy will enjoy feedback from like-minded people at their own peer level, allowing them to make better choices in school and life. The benefits of group therapy for teens are numerous, and their effects will be felt for the rest of the student’s life.

How Animal-Assisted Therapy is Beneficial for Teens

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It may seem like a modern alternative treatment tool, but animal-assisted therapy has been around for centuries. Eva Carlston Academy reviews below the various benefits of this therapy for teens going through challenges.

In the late 1800s, the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, saw the recovery benefits that small animals provided to people – the animals helped ease anxiety in both adults in children.

Into the 20th century, Sigmund Freud had his own dog, Jofi, participate in psychoanalysis sessions, in part because patients felt more comfortable at first talking through the dog and not directly to Freud.

By the late 1980s, societies were formed that specialized in providing and supporting animal-assisted therapy. There are a variety of companies that provide animal-assisted therapy certification programs.

Many categorize animal-assisted therapy as thinking outside of the medical box. That may be true, but if animals and humans have co-existed for 50,000 years and domestication began around 15,000 years ago, there is no doubt that animal-assisted therapy treatments for teens can be beneficial.

Animal-Assisted Therapy Explained

Animal therapy runs the gamut. While the most common forms used are domesticated dogs and cats in various ways, farm animals such as horses and pigs, as well as marine animals are also used in therapy.
It can be used in tandem with other forms of therapy, such as PT or cognitive behavioral therapy.

There are different levels of therapy and treatment as well. Dogs may visit those of all ages in a hospital. People of all ages could utilize equine therapy on a ranch designed to focus on therapeutic sessions.

Nursing homes, daycares, mental health facilities, and more also use animal therapies regularly. Many of the dogs, cats, and the like involved are trained to perform their specific duty within a therapy session.

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How Animal-Assisted Therapy is Helpful for Teens

Many teens get the same benefits from pet-centered therapy as other age groups. It is designed to bolster well-being and health, and therapies have been shown to do everything from improving mental outlook and cognitive abilities, to easing anxiety and lowering blood pressure.

Doctors and other professionals working with teens who are coping with mental health conditions are increasingly augmenting sessions with animal-assisted therapy techniques.

Pet companionship has been shown consistently to reduce loneliness in teens and offer social support many teens may lack.

On a basic level, animal companionship also help teens who are coping with extreme loss, such as a death of a friend or family, and subsequent grief.

Since many teens with mental health challenges cope with daily anxiety and depression, pet therapies have been shown to raise levels of compassion and empathy. Therapies also trigger the need for and importance of instilling responsibility in teens.

A large number of students have shown other benefits for teens. Animal-assisted therapy often reduces worry or feelings of fear, offers motivation and focus, and may also decrease the levels at which people perceive pain.

Its Benefits May Have Ancient Roots

Several purveyors of experimental therapies subscribe to the Biophilia Hypothesis.

The theory is that people generally have a strong interest in animals and easily attach to them because at one time, man’s survival was somewhat dependent on animals offering signs that a certain area is unsafe.

That’s a good dog!

The Impact of Divorce on Teen Mental Health

According to the CDC, the current rate of divorce in the USA is about 2.3 per 1000. Out of the number of divorced couples, several are likely to include families with one or more teenagers. Eva Carlston Academy reviews that while teens are stereotyped as being apathetic, they are directly affected by divorce and there are serious impacts on their mental health.

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Negative Effects of Divorce

Divorce can have many negative effects on all parties involved but teenagers are especially vulnerable. Experiencing parents who are going through a divorce affects all aspects of a teen’s life, from their mood, relationships with others, and how they perform in school.

Depression And Anxiety

Teenagers who are dealing with their parent’s relationship in turmoil have reported more feelings of depression and anxiety. This stems from feeling a loss of control over the situation and having to deal with parents who may be arguing, angry, or abusive while going through a separation or divorce.

Divorce essentially means that the teenager is losing the family structure in their life, so feelings of anger and sadness can build up and lead to depressive episodes and anxiousness over how to cope.

More Conflict with Interpersonal Relationships

Most teenagers are not likely to reach out for help. Instead, many will lash out or withdraw from friends and family. It can be especially hard to feel a connection with others when all they’re seeing at home is a breakdown of a relationship.

Self-Abusive Behavior

Eva Carlston Academy states that teens who are experiencing divorce are more likely to engage in self-abusive behavior or try riskier things that could potentially put them in danger. This includes experimenting with drugs and alcohol, dangerous sexual activity, and engaging in suicidal ideation and thoughts.

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Coping Mechanisms

While divorce can be difficult, there are also a lot of resources to help teenagers better process a divorce.

Talking with a health professional or therapist. Divorce can result in many bottled-up emotions but having a professional to help work through their feelings can be beneficial to many teenagers. They often will not feel comfortable opening up to their family or friends but having an outlet is vital to healing and overcoming their fear and anxiety.

Find an outlet for stress. Whether it’s journaling, sports, or just finding something that brings joy, overcoming divorce for teenagers means finding a way for them to process their feelings in a healthy way.

When To Seek Help

If a teenager is not responding to treatments such as therapy or stress-reducing activities, it may be time to seek additional help. This is often recommended when a teen is becoming more reclusive or withdrawn.

There are many resources to help teenagers that are experiencing a divorce in their family. If a teen is feeling depressed or suicidal, they can call 988, which is the suicide and crisis lifeline. There are often counselors who can help teenagers at school or within certain national organizations, which are found on the National Institute of Mental Health website.

How a Mental Health Crisis Can Affect Siblings

When teens experience mental health issues, many members of the family may become negatively affected, especially siblings close in age.

Behaviors such as stealing, bullying, dramatic outbursts, lying, and demanding silence or even displaying negative symptoms of their mental health issues or addiction can all negatively affect siblings of the afflicted teen. Although siblings may seem fine on the outside, those witnessing these behaviors are likely under serious stress.

In the following article, Eva Carlston Academy reviews how teens with mental health challenges can affect their siblings and what families can do to be proactive about these situations.

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Impact of Mental Health on Siblings

A teen in crisis can impact siblings in a variety of ways, almost as much as mental health and addiction impacts the teen themselves. Because mental health issues deserve so much care and attention from parents, they can sometimes take parental attention away from siblings. This can result in a sibling feeling left out, forgotten, or even abandoned.

How a mental health crisis affects siblings largely depends upon how old the siblings are when they witness the events. Young children who see violent or aggressive behaviors or exacerbations of mental illness in any negative form are at risk of developing severe anxiety and stress. The younger child may even feel unloved by the teen in crisis.

Children who are exposed to difficult situations within the family will likely require a lot more attention, reassurance, and empathy from parents than children who have never witnessed these types of events. Just the same as a teen experiencing mental health problems, siblings too can experience negative health and emotional consequences from these situations.

Children who have siblings working through addiction or mental health are 63% more likely to report having depressive episodes (at least two weeks) in their lifetime. Sometimes the siblings of teens can take on a bigger sense of responsibility and even begin caring for, protecting, or feeling responsible for the teen experiencing issues.

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Be Proactive

There are a few ways parents can ensure they care for not only the child in crisis, but for their other children as well, such as making sure each child feels loved and heard. This can be accomplished by enrolling children in regular therapy sessions, or even routinely checking in, and having honest discussions about how they feel.

Ways to support other children in the home are to have routine and structure in the family. For example, it helps when children are able to know what to expect when times get hard, and more importantly, that they feel safe. Parents can also involve their children in activities that take place in a setting outside of the home, not only to get them involved in the community but to have a positive, uplifting experience away from a negative environment, especially during crisis episodes.

Summary

When one person in a family experiences mental health issues, everyone must act as a team to ensure the happiness and health of all family members. This can be done by getting parents to focus more on family as a whole, especially on siblings who require just as much care and attention as the person in crisis.

Sometimes mental health issues can take precedence over other matters, but learning how to have structure, involve children in activities away from negative behaviors and making sure siblings feel important are all great ways to be proactive.

How Body Image Can Impact Mental Health in Teens

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Some consider being a teenager as “the golden years” of life. Though this can be true for many of us, there is also the very palpable reality that the teenage years can be some of the roughest ones to go through.

In this modern day and age, Eva Carlston Academy reviews how the issue of poor body image has been proven detrimental to strong mental health and healthy self-image, and other factors like social media aggravate these effects even further.

An Impressionable Age

A research study was done in 2018 regarding the concept analysis of impressionable tendencies in adolescents recently found that the most impressionable ages in mental development are from 12 to 24 – a majority or all of these years are spent in school. However, it is to be noted the most sensitive years are the ages 12 to 18.

During this time in an individual’s life, they are more vulnerable and sensitive to environmental stressors and other facts they’re constantly exposed to – this includes feedback from friends, family, social media, television, etc.

Suppose a teen is consistently exposed to positive affirmation, from uplifting comments from family to healthy role models (both physical and otherwise) in magazines, tv, etc. In that case, they are more likely to hold a more confident, constructive self-view. The opposite happens when surrounded by hostile, self-deprecating stimuli and negative comments on the body, personality, and the like.

Social Media

The digital age is something that society will never be able to devolve from but in spite of the countless benefits and progressions we’ve made, it is to be argued that the consequences are nothing short of detrimental.

Influencers on apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter live up to their namesake by posting pictures of their lifestyle, with a number of these posts paid for by brands and companies attempting to reach the young demographic. When teens see these posts, they feel compelled to model their lives around these idealized ways of existing.

The problem? These lives don’t exist, not even through the eyes of the influencer posting them. Each photo is meticulously planned and edited until not a single hair is out of place, though the picture is meant to look effortless. Adolescents, however, either don’t know this or unaware of the power of editing, and believe that these perfect bodies and luxury lifestyles are realistically attainable.

Exposure to these catalysts have impressionable minds leaning into “constant comparison thinking”, in which individuals instantly find attributes they “fall short” in. This constant yearning for the unattainable can lead to teens falling into eating disorders, drug use, and other dangerous behaviors to be looked at as worthy.

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Correlation With Body Image + Mental Health

Some argue that teens can grow from poor self-esteem and body image issues in a positive, way, stating that lifestyle changes borne from negative self-image can lead to self-love and acceptance. Unfortunately, change kickstarted by self-hate, only leads to additional self-hate, even when weight goals are reached, or popularity is won.

A harrowing study done by researchers in 2019 revealed that, in a group of 309 teenaged people, around 58% of them claimed that their desire for a different body shape stemmed from their desire “to look good”, followed by “to gain approval from the opposite sex”, “to make friends”, and “to be more popular” respectively.

The last reason, coming in at only 3%, was “to be healthy”- which was the only reason that put the teens individual wellbeing in primary importance. Until a healthy self-image is grown from personal betterness, it won’t last, and thus continues the pandemic of poor mental health in this nations teens.

Understanding and Combating the Stigma Around Mental Health Issues

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Nothing exacerbates mental health issues more than the feeling of exclusion from the rest of society. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders creates just such a problem for most sufferers. Can this debilitating stigma ever be eradicated?

Fortunately, major strides toward combating stigma have been taken through the growing prominence of self-help groups, social services, and increased representation in film and other media. However, certain social media trends and negative film portrayals continue to push negative stereotypes.

Change cannot occur without understanding the problem. To this end, Eva Carlston Academy reviews how it’s vital to discuss the origins of mental health stigmas, as well as the pros and cons of current efforts to combat them.

Causes and Effects of Mental Health Stigma

Not unlike frequently discussed social issues such as racism and homophobia, a great deal of mental health stigma stems from fear. The American Psychiatric Association notes that many consider those with mental health issues either incompetent or unpredictable, which grows into the belief that they are unsafe.

Stigma most prevalently impacts those who struggle with substance use disorders. A 2016 study showed that roughly 75% of people perceive addicts negatively. This likely occurs because many believe addicts at fault for their own mental health struggles. Depressive disorders are viewed more kindly yet are not altogether exempt from stereotypes and misunderstandings.

This results in mental health patients battling numerous societal issues on top of their internal struggles. They may find it more difficult than most people to find housing or employment if they choose to be open about their diagnosis. Hiding it, however, leads to increased feelings of worthlessness.

Moreover, those attempting to hide their disorders may do so in part by ceasing treatment. In this way, the stigma against mental health disorders only serves to worsen these already troublesome conditions.

Combating Stigma on a Personal Level

Those wishing to overcome mental health stigma have a long road ahead of them. Issues that mental health sufferers must combat include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying and verbal harassment, whether in person or online
  • Feelings of isolation from “normal” friends and family
  • Loss of hope for personal and professional success
  • Inadequate health insurance coverage

This last issue, as well as struggles finding housing or employment, can be overcome through numerous social services. Providers of such services may also put the sufferer in contact with relevant support groups to help fight feelings of isolation.

Combining these efforts with proper therapy and treatment may help mental health sufferers to begin fighting their feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness. Fighting stigma alone will only make the sufferer feel more ostracized. Finding a healthy community is integral to reminding mental health sufferers that they are not alone.

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Improving Public Understanding of Mental Health

Despite society’s constant fight to do away with offensive words such as “retarded,” the misuse and overuse of negative mental health terms continues to grow daily. Reddit users frequently reference perceived entitlement as “narcissism,” failing to recognize the irony of an anti-narcissist proudly labeling others with their own uninformed armchair diagnosis.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness further notes that many films and TV shows use the word “psychotic” as an easy insult. For instance, looking at Batman films alone, viewers can see the world negatively used in both The Dark Knight and Batman v Superman.

Furthermore, the APA notes a correlation between increased mental health discrimination around the 2019 release of Joker. That’s three instances of the same problem, all related to just one intellectual property.

When it comes to issues such as race, gender, and sexual orientation, Hollywood strives for inclusion. These efforts must extend to mental health issues as well. Series such as BoJack Horseman and Shameless try to show the negative aspects of mental health issues through a sympathetic lens. Positive inclusion exists, but not strongly enough to balance out the negative.

Summary

Social services provide mental health patients with useful resources and support to combat the effects of stereotyping and discrimination. The stigma itself, however, remains largely unchallenged. Without better efforts to promote understanding and compassion, mental health sufferers will continue to feel at odds with a society that refuses to embrace them as they are.